BMI Screening in Mass Schools

  • posted by Marci Anderson Evans
  • Sunday, May 17, 2009

So it’s been over a month since The Boston Globe published an article“BMI screening will begin this fall in Mass. schools.” This topic has weighed heavily on my mind (yikes, no pun intended) but I still seem to be combing through all of my thoughts on the topic.

The article states that starting this fall public schools will begin weighing and measuring 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th graders (parents can opt out) as a means to screen for overweight and obesity. The results, along with a report on how to deal with a child’s weight problem will be sent home to the parents. As I type, my blood is beginning to boil.

Here are a couple of thoughts:
1.) America has a pretty poor track record. As we’ve become more weight obsessed over the past several decades, the number of people that are overweight and obese has continued to climb.
2.) Research has shown that obesity prevention programs targeted to elementary and middle school children increased disordered eating behaviors.
3.) There is no utility in sending home a report card to a parent that says “your child is fat and at increased risk for Type II diabetes.” The article states that one of the recommendations for parents with overweight kids is to take them to their pediatrician. No offense to any pediatricians out there but I cannot help but laugh. I’d love to meet a physician that has the skills and more than 10 minutes solve their patient’s “weight problem.”

So rather than sending our children home with a report card, why don’t we start taking action that focuses on behaviors, not numbers. There is plenty of research to show that this is effective. Here are some ideas:
1.) Have students track the number of minutes they spend per day engaging in physical activity. And by all means, let’s stop cutting out recess and gym classes.
2.) Create a school garden. It will teach our children where food comes from, how to take stewardship over the earth, and supplement the pathetic meals they are served at school with more fruits and vegetables.
3.) Partner with local farms to facilitate work in exchange for reduced or free crops for low-income families.
There are a myriad of ways to promote healthy living. Sending report cards home is not one of them. With a Department of Health staffed with intelligent and capable people, I’d like to think we can do better than that. (Sorry for the rant, I do try to keep them to a minimum.)



If you liked this post, you might also like one of these recent posts:

  1. Product Showcase: Fairlife Marci Anderson Evans 07-Aug-2015
  2. Solutions for Summer Social Eating Marci Anderson Evans 24-Jul-2015
  3. Food Values Save You From Our Crazy Food Culture Marci Anderson Evans 02-Jul-2015
  4. TBM: My Own Body Image Journey Marci Anderson Evans 22-Jun-2015
  5. Want to Know What's Amazing About the Human Brain? Marci Anderson Evans 01-Jun-2015
  6. May is Mental Health Awareness Month Marci Anderson Evans 24-May-2015
  7. Toddlers and Picky Eating Marci Anderson Evans 10-May-2015
  8. Brain, Mood, Exercise, and BDNF Marci Anderson Evans 30-Apr-2015
  9. The Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act Marci Anderson Evans 13-Apr-2015
  10. 21 Day Fix from a Passover Perspective Marci Anderson Evans 09-Apr-2015
Comments
Liz commented on 20-May-2009 04:39 PM
I imagine that most parents know whether they child is overweight or not, just by looking at them. It seems crazy that the state of Massachusetts is going to spend time and money on something so pointless (but I suppose that is something that governments do best...) I wholeheartedly agree with your suggestions to focus on proper eating behaviors. Overweight kids are likely not getting that at home, so at least they could learn things like that at school!

Post a Comment




Captcha Image

Trackback Link
http://www.marcird.com/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=2459&PostID=64718&A=Trackback
Trackbacks
Post has no trackbacks.

Related posts:

Diet & Health Care Reform

Tuesday, March 17, 2009
While the excitement surrounding the election of our 44th President of the United States is slowly dying down, the buzz on politics certainly hasn't diminished in my neck of the woods.  While the economy is certainly the most talked about topic, I've been happy to hear both President Obama and his wife address issues of health, diet, and nutrition.  So, I was intrigued to read an article in the San Francisco Chronicle this morning, which addresses the issue of politics, food, and wh...

Part IV: How Much is it Gonna' Cost Me?

Friday, March 27, 2009
This is the 4th in a series of 5 blog posts on grocery shopping.  Hope you find this information useful. It seems that most newspaper articles and news stories are focused on one thing THE ECONOMY. And for good reason, most people have been affected by it. And if you haven’t noticed, eating at home can save you big bucks. That’s one great reason why you need to start shopping smarter. Here are my tips to saving on your food bill: 1.) Learn the layout of your grocery store. It is designed...

Eating Disorders: How to Reach Out

Thursday, April 02, 2009
A few days ago, a close friend called with a dilemma.  "I think my friend has an eating disorder, what should I do?  What can I say?"  For anyone who has witnessed a friend or relative suffer the demands of such a destructive illness, you know how difficult these questions can be.  Please know that if you find yourself in such a situation, you are not alone.  There are places of support to offer advice, encouragement, and information to guide you.  The National Eating Disorders Association ha...

Part V: Bringing it Home

Saturday, April 11, 2009
We have finally made it to our last and final blog posting for this series on the basics of grocery shopping. I’ve walked you through the steps of preparation, what to buy, and how to efficiently use your time and money. While all of the topics we’ve covered so far are important, this one perhaps takes the cake. So if you learn anything from me, I want it to be this: your delicious and fresh food should be as easy and accessible as the processed/packaged items in your pantry. Just follow ...